Gegard Mousasi Says Nationality ‘Makes A Difference’ In How The UFC Treat A Fighter
Earlier this week, it was announced that Gegard Mousasi will fight Rafael Carvalho for the Bellator middleweight title on May 25 at the Wembley SSE Arena in London, England.
The Dutch fighter made his Bellator debut last October when he defeated Alexander Shlemenko via a unanimous decision. That win spring boarded Mousasi straight into a Bellator title shot, an opportunity he was never afforded when fighting in the UFC for over four years.
Speaking to Sebastian Vendel-Martinez of MMANytt earlier this year, Mousasi suggested one surprising reason why he doesn’t think he ever got a shot at a UFC title.
“Sometimes it does make a difference where the fighter, which country they come from. Lets say…it makes a difference where you’re from. I’m not a cry-baby, I get how things work, but yeah definitely where you’re from makes a big difference, what kind of country you’re representing, if MMA is big out there, I don’t feel that with Bellator.
“It doesn’t matter that I’m fighting out of Holland or whatever I feel like I’m getting, finally, the title shot I deserve.”
Mousasi still clearly feels that the UFC did him wrong, but now fighting under the Bellator banner he feels more comfortable that the organization has his best interests at heart.
“When I was there, at that time it was more chaotic, I was ranked two places [higher] than Whittaker and then Whittaker got the interim title shot and then after beating Jacare, and after I fought Weidman he surpassed me in the rankings and he got the interim title shot. You’ve got Dan Henderson fighting Mike Bisping, and then Bisping fighting GSP. I think that says a lot about that the best fighters are not fighting for the belt.
“At that moment it was very chaotic, now GSP is gone and it was all over the place. At that moment there was nothing clear of what I had to do to get a title shot. I knew coming in to Bellator I had to fight, if I would win I would fight for the title.”
Bellator 200 will take place on May 25 and no headline bout has yet been announced. The fight card is currently as follows:
Rafael Carvalho vs Gegard Mousasi – Bellator middleweight title
Michael Page vs David Rickels
Linton Vassell vs Phil Davis